Ethical Procurement Conference images

Ethical Procurement Conference

On Tuesday 19 November, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum hosted a conference on Fair Trade and public procurement: Ethical Procurement in the Scottish Public Sector: Values for Money. Held in conjunction with the Fairtrade Foundation, the conference explored how Scotland can build on its achievements as a Fair Trade Nation through the use of public procurement, particularly against the backdrop of imminent public procurement reform. Attendees included buyers and campaigners, public procurement officers, and representatives from Scottish Fairtrade Forum member organisations.

We were fortunate to be joined by a wide range of guest speakers, including:

  • Claire Lissaman from the Fairtrade Foundation, who spoke about the recent development of Fair Trade and its positive world impact (see presentation). 
  • Josephine Mitchell from the Scottish Government Procurement Directorate, who shared her perspective on public procurement reform and the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill (see presentation). 
  • Haylea Campbell of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, who spoke about the new EU public procurement directives (see presentation).
  • Karen Bowman, Director of Procurement at the University of Edinburgh (see presentation), Sylvia Gray, Sustainability Officer at East Dunbartonshire Council, and Helen Reilly from the British Medical Association (see presentation), each of whom gave examples of best practice in their sectors.
  • Kim Young from Sustainable Scotland Network, who spoke about ethical procurement beyond Fair Trade (see presentation). 

We drew a number of insights from our discussions during the day, most importantly the need for public procurement officers to be supported in their prioritisation of non-price factors such as Fair Trade throughout the procurement process, and be given confidence through a high-level commitment to such factors.

We would like to thank all those who attended for their valuable contributions.